Charges dropped for former Rep. Gamrat, Courser still on the hook

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A judge dismissed misconduct charges Tuesday against two former Michigan lawmakers for their role in a bizarre, false email that was sent as a ruse to hide their extramarital affair, but let other charges proceed against one of them.

Lansing District Judge Hugh Clarke Jr. ruled that there was not enough evidence for Cindy Gamrat to face felony misconduct in office charges. But he said the case against Todd Courser can continue to trial on two of four counts -- a perjury charge that carries a maximum 15 years in prison and a misconduct in office charge with a maximum five-year penalty.

Gamrat was in tears before the judge ruled that she was innocent of two counts of misconduct and perjury. Courser, however, will still head to trial on two charges but he thinks those will be dropped as well.

"You have mixed emotions. You're glad two of them are gone and really do feel like the other two will go away, it's just a matter of time. They are the weakest case," Courser said.

For now, Gamrat is off the hook, unless the state decides to appeal. Her attorney, Mike Nichols was not gloating about the decision.

"I'm not going to gloat. I'm just going to say Judge Clark did what a judge is supposed to do: he followed the law, applied the law to the facts," Nichols said.

Gamrat gave a brief statement that she had a lot of mixed emotions.

Courser's attorney, Matt DePerno, said the prosecution has a weak case.

"I disagree that there was probable cause one two counts. I think his comments from the bench were telling and i thinkt he testimony itself does not support any probable cause for perjury or misconduct," Deperno said.

The state would not comment on the judge's decision.


Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.